Families' anguish as Iran tanker burns

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By Euronews
Families' anguish as Iran tanker burns

A search for survivors continues after a collision between an oil tanker and a Chinese cargo ship off China's east coast.

The tanker burst into flames after Saturday's crash. One body has been recovered. The rest of the 32-strong crew, almost all Iranians, are missing.

Hoping against hope that her son, engineer Mehdi Sadegi, will be found alive, one mother spoke exclusively to Euronews.

"We are asking for international aid for our children who are probably still in the tanker. Help them! They are human beings who need your help. Now! You, the international community. We are waiting for our dear loved ones. Help us," she pleaded.

Mansoureh Yahyai, the wife of an officer on the stricken tanker, called for China to do more.

"Each one of these days for us is a nightmare without end," she said.

Elia Mohtashami, wife of another crew member, engineer Vahid Mohebi, said:

"I know they are somewhere safe. We don't think, even one percent, that something bad has happened to time. But time is passing. Every second is important."

The cargo ship's crew was rescued on the night of the collision, the cause of which is unknown.

Amid the spilled oil, Chinese authorities say the tanker, which also had two Bangladeshis on board, remains at risk of exploding and sinking.

Complicating the situation further, the vessel has drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), a spokesman for Japan's Coast Guard told Reuters on Friday, as strong winds pushed the burning ship away from the Chinese coast.

with Reuters